U.N. World Food Program Wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

The WFP was awarded for its contributions to combat hunger and efforts to create better conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
Photo: WFP
Oct. 14, 2020
Julie Al-Zoubi

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The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in recog­ni­tion of the organization’s efforts to com­bat hunger, for its con­tri­bu­tion to improv­ing con­di­tions for peace in con­flict-affected areas and for its role as a dri­ving force against hunger being used as a weapon in war and con­flict.

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The 100th Nobel Peace Prize was pre­sented to the WFP on October 9 by Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who empha­sized that help­ing to increase food secu­rity extended beyond pre­vent­ing hunger and also included improv­ing the prospects for peace and sta­bil­ity.

Every one of the 690 mil­lion hun­gry peo­ple in the world today has the right to live peace­fully and with­out hunger.” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in a state­ment. Today, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has turned the global spot­light on them and on the dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences of con­flict.”

Beasley also paid trib­ute to WFP staff via a video mes­sage on Twitter in which he said, They’re out there in the most dif­fi­cult, com­plex places in the world, whether there’s war, con­flict, cli­mate extremes, it doesn’t mat­ter, they’re out there, and they deserve this award.”

The WFP inten­si­fied its efforts as the COVID-19 pan­demic sub­stan­tially increased the num­ber of peo­ple already fac­ing star­va­tion due to cli­mate change as well as vio­lent con­flict in areas such as South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Yemen, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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In 2019 alone the WFP was rec­og­nized for pro­vid­ing assis­tance to around 100 mil­lion peo­ple in 88 coun­tries who faced acute food inse­cu­rity and hunger.

In 2015, the United Nations declared that erad­i­cat­ing hunger was one of its sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals and tasked the WFP as its pri­mary instru­ment.

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